DSM-5 Changes Increase ADHD Symptom Endorsement Among College Students

Garner, Anna
Afton, WY In the most recent iteration of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), changes were made to the diagnostic criteria for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); among these changes were parenthetical examples of adult behavior that were added for each symptom. This was done to make the criteria developmentally appropriate for adolescents and adults. Prior research has found that the changes significantly increased the number of symptoms parents of adolescents with ADHD endorsed for their children. This study conducted a similar procedure with a community sample of college students and collateral reports from a small group of participants with ADHD and matched controls. This study was conducted at four universities in the Western, Midwestern, and Easter United States; participants were undergraduate students (ages 18-25) who rated themselves on the DSM-IV and DSM-5 checklists, as well as the Weiss Functional Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2017 Page 62 Impairment Rating Scale – Self-Report (WFIRS) and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21). Parents of some participants in the ADHD group within the sample were contacted with the consent of their child to provide collateral reports, completing the DSM-IV and DSM-5 checklists on their child's behaviors and the WFIRS other-report. The DSM-IV and DSM-5 checklists were counterbalanced in the survey. To test the hypothesis that the changes to the DSM criteria would increase symptoms endorsed, a repeated measures ANOVA was conducted. The within-subjects variable was DSM edition, and it was found that college students endorsed significantly more symptoms, specifically inattentive symptoms, using the DSM-5 checklist.
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